For their business plans to better fight diseases, build ship containers and sterilize surgical instruments, 13 Oklahoma State University students recently were awarded $40,000 to turn those ideas into viable ventures.
Among 90 teams that competed in a fourth annual competition sponsored by the Riata Center for Entrepreneurship in OSU's Spears School of Business, 16 finalists were presented April 20 to venture investors from Oklahoma, New York, Chicago, Texas and Washington, D.C. The panel critiqued the marketability of their products, planned business operations, management and capabilities to receive financing, among other things.
First-place winners Jose Fulgencio, Shoaib Shaikh, Jamie Solberg and Xiao Xiao were awarded $25,000 for MesoBio, a business providing highly differentiated miRNA vectors to facilitate researchers' development of therapeutics for diseases.
Second-place awardees Venkat Gidda, Balaji Jayakumar, Shoaib Shaikh, Saravan Kumar Shanmugavelayudam and Jessica Shelton won $10,000 for MaxQ LLC, a business that would manufacture cold chain shipping containers that are better insulating, lighter and more durable than current products.
And third-place team members Clint Miller, Jayalakshmi Nail, Kedar Pai and Roshan Revankar were presented $5,000 toward Plasma Bionics, a business that would manufacture sterilization hardware, which uses nonthermal plasma to sterilize reusable items in medical, dental and veterinary applications.